Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Aussie Open Day 2: Fed Struggles, Serena, Venus and Nole Win in Routs

With a heavily wrapped leg due to a knee injury suffered in Sydney last week, Serena WIlliams turned in a stellar performance in her 6-2, 6-1 victory over Urszula Radwanska on the 2nd day of the Australian Open. After the match, when asked about her 40-0 record in Grand Slam 1st rounds, Williams said this: "I was a little nervous today because (the streak) is always on the back of my mind. Records are meant to be broken." Other seeded winners in the American's quarter of the draw were Ana Ivanovic, Sabine Lisicki, Sam Stosur and Carla Suarez Navarro.

In Novak Djokovic's section of the draw, the 1st big upset on the men's side occured when Robin Soderling, the 8th seed, was ousted by Marcel Granollers in 5 sets. Nole comfortably advanced to the 2nd round in straight sets, while Richard Gasquet and Mikhail Youzhny battled it out into the wee hours of the morning in the battle of stellar one-handed backhands. In their marathon 5-set encounter, the Frenchman held 2 match points and a 2-set to nothing lead before Youzhny mounted an incredible comeback. Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the 2008 runner-up, earned a 3-set win and will play Taylor Dent. Tommy Robredo was upset by Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-2, 6-2, while the other Tommy, Haas, overcame a fight from Simon Greul to stay alive.
In the 2nd section of the ladies' draw, Venus Williams crushed Lucie Safarova, surrendering just 4 games to the Czech, who was regarded as a danger to Williams. Agnieszka Radwanska made sure her family didn't go winless on the day when she dominated Tatjana Malek 6-1, 6-0. Aggy will face Alla Kudryatseva, who bounced Melanie Oudin in 3 sets. Franmcesca Schiavona and home-crowd favorite Casey Dellacqua also won their openers.

In the top section of the men's draw, Roger Federer squared off with a very dangerous Igor Andreev, and barely advanced, losing the opening set to the Russian before recovering to take the match in 4 sets. It was the 1st time in 6 years that the Swiss has lost a set in a 1st round match, a stat he told the press afterward he didn't know. Nikolay Davydenko, the 6th seed, trounced Deiter Kindlmaan, joining Fernando Verdasco, Lleyton Hewitt and David Ferrer, who didn't lose a game in his win, in the 2nd round. In his press conference, Kolya brought the giggles (in very broken English) when asked if his recent Masters Series wins have brought him new-found fame. "I hope not. Then is not so many like say celebrity guys. I am not Paris Hilton. I don’t want to be like this. I don’t want to be like Nadal, Federer. These guys I never see by breakfast. They stay in the room and take room service."

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